Here's a letter for publication sent by Roy to the Editor of the Teignmouth Post following Thursday's 'Consultation' meeting on the closure of the Teignmouth Minor Injuries Unit:
The public meeting at the Alice Cross Centre on Thursday 15th showed how important the NHS is to the people of Teignmouth. In a night of highly charged emotion and anger with dozens of people being turned away, the ‘Consultation Meeting’ offered us two choices: Option 1: Close Teignmouth Minor injuries unit (MIU). Option 2: Close Teignmouth MIU.
The speakers, Doctors and managers working within the NHS, were attempting to get their message across in a difficult environment.
They’ve worked hard on this issue, and the strain was clearly showing as their efforts were met with a hostile reception. The sad truth is that they are the fall guys. We could all see the care and passion on their faces as they tried to point out the limitations that have been placed upon them.
To any honest observer it is clear where the fault lies – full square at the feet of this Conservative and Lib Dem coalition government. So, what was the response of the government’s representatives at the meeting?
Mr Younger Ross (representing the Lib Dems) had the nerve to ask why there was no option 3: let’s keep the MIU in Teignmouth. The answer is that his government have removed that option, and when his party sold out to gain a part in the coalition he should perhaps have considered the impact on his former constituency.
To give him his dues, at least he bothered to turn up. Our Conservative MP, Ann Marie Morris was nowhere to be seen! The most important public meeting Teignmouth has seen for years and she was AWOL. No doubt she was aware that the Conservatives on Dawlish Council all voted for the closure of Teignmouth MIU - an action even a professional politician like her could not ‘spin’.
The NHS is the Labour Party’s proudest achievement and what Thursday night tragically showed was that this government is only interested in dismantling and selling off our finest institution.
Roy Freer, Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Newton Abbot